Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.



“AND I saw an angel coming down [1] from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, [2] and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years; and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations [3] no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled. And after that he must be loosed a little season. - And I saw thrones; [4] and they sate upon them; and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded [5] for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God; and whosoever [6] had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their forehead, or on their hand: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not [7] until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power: but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign [8] with him a thousand years.

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison: and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to war; [9] the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; [10] and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. [11]

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sate upon it; from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne: [12] and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it. And death and hades gave up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [13] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth had past away; [14] and there was no more sea.” - Apoc. xx. 1-xxi. 1.

We now enter on the great subject of the MILLENNIUM. In the Apocalyptic revelations, the vision of the Beast and False Prophet being cast into the lake of fire was followed by that of the binding of the Dragon, now again explained to be the old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan, [15] (the same that from the beginning even to the end had been the Spirit ruling in the hearts and the polities of the children of disobedience,) by an Angel that descended from heaven, and shut and sealed him up in the bottomless pit, or abyss, for 1000 years; so as that he might during that time have no more power to deceive the nations: - it being added, however, that he would afterwards be loosed for a little season. On the other hand thrones of judgment and royalty appeared set in the vision, whereon Christ and his saints were seen to take their sitting: it being the privilege of these latter to live and reign with Him the thousand years. [16] St. John specifies particularly, as if conspicuous among them, [17] the souls of them that had been beheaded for the word of God and the witnessing of Jesus; evidently the same individuals that he had beheld gathered under the altar, in a symbolic vision long antecedent, the victims of the persecutions of Rome Pagan; [18] and others also, whosoever had not worshipped, and did not at the time of the judgment worship [19] the Beast or his Image. - In order thus to

 reign with Christ they rose to life again: whereas “the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were finished.” This was the first resurrection. “Blessed and holy,” it is said, “is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power: but they shall be priests of God and of Christ; and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

And here the famous question opens, In what way are we to understand this vision and prophecy of the Millennium? What the first resurrection spoken of, literal or figurative? Who the person’s that partake of it? What the nature of the devil’s synchronous binding and incarceration? What the chronological position and duration of the Millennium? What the sequel of events, on the devil’s being loosed again at its termination? Finally, what the relation of this millennary period and its blessedness to the New Jerusalem, afterwards exhibited in the Apocalypse; and what also to the paradisiacal state predicted in the Old Testament prophecies, as to be introduced on the Jew’s conversion and restoration? - I purpose in the present chapter to discuss and answer the general question, What the first resurrection, with which the Millennium is to open: then in the next to consider more in detail, upon the principle of interpretation thus previously established, the probable order of events introductory to its establishment, and state of things during the Millennium, and after it. [20]


With regard then to our present subject, - viz. THE MILLENNIAL FIRST RESURRECTION, - it is to be observed that there have been four principal solutions offered of it, to which yet a fifth has been recently added, in brief as follows.

The first, - which was that of the earliest Fathers of the Church, as Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenĉus, Tertullian, and other Fathers, a little later, of the third century, as Hippolytus, Cyprian, Victorinus, Methodius, Lactantius, &c., - explained this resurrection to be literally that of departed martyrs and saints, then at length resuscitated in the body from death and the grave: [21] - its time (agreeably with the order of the vision in the Apocalyptic narrative) to synchronize with, or follow instantly after, the destruction of the Beast Antichrist, on Christ’s personal second advent: - the binding of Satan to be an absolute restriction of the powers of hell from tempting, deceiving, or injuring mankind, throughout a literal period of 1000 years, thence calculated: - the government of the earth, [22] in this its millennial age, to be administered by Christ and his risen saints; the latter being now isaggeloi, in nature like angels: [23] and that under it, all false religion having been put down, the Jews and saved remnant of the Gentiles been converted to Christ, the earth renovated by the fire of Antichrist’s destruction, and Jerusalem made the universal capital, there would be realization on earth of the blessedness depicted in the Old Testament prophecies, as well as of that too which was associated with the descent of the New Jerusalem in the visions of the Apocalypse: [24] -until at length, this millennium having ended, and Satan again gone forth to deceive the nations, the final consummation would follow; the new-raised enemies of the saints, Gog and Magog, be destroyed by fire from heaven; and then the general resurrection and judgment take place, the Devil and his servants be cast into the lake of fire, and the millennial reign of the saints extend itself into one of eternal duration. [25] .

The second chief theory of interpretation, - one suggested in the Christian Church ere the end of the fourth century, [26] very much in consequence of the abuse and misapprehension of the literal views just detailed, as if of carnal tendency, [27] and which is best known from its full development by Augustine, - may be called the spiritual theory. It supposed the resurrection meant to be that of dead souls from the death of sin to the life of righteousness: [28] - that the time of its commencement was to be dated from Christ’s first coming and ministry, when the Devil, the strong man armed, was according to Christ’s own saying bound and expelled from the hearts of his disciples, [29] and so their reign over him, though indeed but a regnum militiĉ [30] made to begin;

the Beast conquered by them meaning here the wicked world, and its image a hypocritical profession: [31] - that it was a resurrection, moreover, not then completed, but one which would still go on wherever the gospel was preached; its subjects being the election of God, (so the nations or eqnh of verse 3, whom Satan might not deceive, were explained, [32] and its term of continuance all that remained of what Augustine regarded as the world’s sixth chiliad of existence, [33] even until Antichrist’s coming at the end of time: - which last enemy’s manifestation and persecution of the saints (including the Jews then at length converted, [34] as well as the Gentile Church) was supposed to be prefigured under the emblematic appellation of Gog and Magog: - the destruction of whom by fire from heaven would introduce the literal and universal resurrection of the dead, (a resurrection both of good and bad,) and consequently thereon, the final judgment: after which that eternal blessedness of the saints would begin in heaven, which alike the Old Testament prophecies, and the Apocalyptic prophecy in its two last chapters, (so Augustine explained the matter,) prefigured under the symbol of the glorified Jerusalem. [35]

The third chief theory and solution may be called the ecclesiastical theory of the past: - I say ecclesiastical, as distinguished from Augustine’s spiritual, inasmuch as the party triumphing over Satan was in it supposed to be not the mere chosen and faithful in heart individually, but the professing Christian Church as a corporate body; and its millennial triumph over him one visible before men upon the world’s theatre. - From the simple substitution of “the Church” for the true members of the Church (a substitution which, as we have seen, involved in itself one main principle of the apostasy,) [36] there arose a habit very early in the middle age of ecclesiasticizing in a manner Augustine’s spiritual theory: the apostolic and (as some would say) post-apostolic miracles, the silencing of Pagan oracles, and traveling onward of the Church to political supremacy over Paganism, being appealed to in proof of the visible binding of Satan under the Church’s power, even from the epoch of its first constitution. [37] And in this more or less ecclesiastical form [38] Augustine’s theory was perpetuated down to the Reformation; [39] indeed, yet beyond it, even to the present day. [40] In order however to a presentable ecclesiastical form, the theory needed of course some marked commencing epoch of the visible Church’s visible triumph over Satan’s power; as well as some more consistent solution of the Beast as pre-millennial. Such a commencing epoch presented itself in the Constantinian triumph over Paganism early in the 4th century; and in that alone of all the events of past ecclesiastical history. And it was accordingly fixed on by one and another expositor, from soon after the Reformation, as the commencing epoch of the Apocalyptic Millennium: - first, I believe, by the Romanist Genebrard; [41] then afterwards by Grotius [42] and Hammond, whose names are more famed as its authors. According to them the Apocalyptic Beast, (alike the ten-horned and the two-horned,) instead of figuring the then future Antichrist, so as all the ancient Fathers supposed, meant in fact only the then persecuting power of Rome Pagan: the destruction of which, through Constantine’s instrumentality, these interpreters expounded to be the event symbolized in the preceding (i.e. the xixth) chapter of the Apocalypse. The Millennium of triumphant Christianity, thus and then begun, was made by them to extend through the period of one thousand years thence following; i.e. from the 4th to the 14th century: at which latter time they considered the rise of the Othman Turks from Scythia, and their attack on Christendom, to have fulfilled what is said in the prophecy about Gog and Magog coming up and encompassing the camp of the saints. Upon the destruction of which Turkish Mahommedan power, whensoever it might take place, they looked for the fulfillment of what was figured by the great white throne, and the standing of the dead before it, (verses 11, 12, &c.,) in the universal resurrection, final judgment, and subsequent heavenly and eternal blessedness of the saints.

This millennial view, which followed naturally on Grotius’ view of the Beast as the symbol simply of Rome Pagan’s persecuting power, presented itself as one fit and easy of adoption to various Roman Catholic expositors of a later ĉra. - With regard to really Protestant expositors, such as explained either the ten-horned or the two-horned Beast of the Roman Papal power, they could of course only adopt it imperfectly, and by supposing the vision of Apoc. xx. to be retrogressive. Such as the martyrologist Fox’s idea. And then as to the loosing of Satan at the end of the millennium, they gave a Protestant turn to the symbol by supposing it to have had fulfillment not only in the Othman Turks’ invasions of Christendom in the xiiith and xivth centuries, but in the then rising to its acme of power of Papal arrogance, impiety, and tyranny.

The fourth chief theory of solution is what we may call the ecclesiastical theory of the future. It was first fully propounded, I believe, by Whitby, [43] then advocated by Vitringa soon afterwards, at the opening of the xviiith century; and from that time down to the present has continued to be perhaps the most prevalent and favorite of all the millennial theories, at least among English Protestant expositors. Among its later and living advocates Mr. Faber has long been eminent; and more recently Mr. Brown. It explains the first resurrection in question to signify a resurrection of the cause, principles, doctrine, spirit, and character too of the Christian martyrs and saints departed; being thus in part spiritual, in part ecclesiastical: and indeed in part too, as I should add, national; inasmuch as it is supposed that the Jews will be then nationally restored, as well as converted, to take a share in it. The time they consider as still future; and that it is to begin, agreeably with Apocalyptic order, after the destruction of the Beast, the Papal Antichrist: - that then, the delusion alike of Popery and Mahommedanism having past away, and Satan been restricted from any more deceiving mankind, the doctrine of the martyrs long branded as heretical will triumph, their characters be appreciated, and their spirit revive afresh, as did that of Elias in John the Baptist; [44] the Church founded on their principles thenceforth flourish universally; the earth enjoy for 1000 years paradisiacal blessedness; and the separate spirits of the martyrs and saints in heaven sympathize with its joy.

Thus far, for the most part, the advocates of this view agree. On the sequel of the vision, however, there are important differences among them. Thus, as regards the implied second resurrection, while Vitringa, like the advocates of all the three other theories already sketched, supposes it to be the resurrection of the literal dead, small and great, connected with the judgment of the great while throne, Dr. Whitby, Mr. Faber, and Mr. Brown explain it as the uprising again of antichristian principles, immediately at the end of the Millennium, in the persons and confederacy of God and Magog. - Besides which there is a difference also in their explanations of the New Jerusalem. Alike Vitringa and Whitby would have this to signify the blessedness of the earthly Church, now enlarged and purified, the bride of Christ during the Millennium. But Mr. Faber and Mr. Brown explain it as post-millennial: supposing it to include the whole company admitted to heaven and life eternal from among men; that is, as settled by the judgment of the great white throne, after the general resurrection.

Such are in brief the four most famous solutions of the Millennial prophecy that have been offered in the Christian Church, from the time of the publication of the Apocalypse down to the time now present. To which I must add yet a fifth, first suggested by the late Mr. Gipps, and which may be called distinctively and explicitly the witness-resurrection of the past; - making the vision, as it does, to retrogress to the commencement of the Beast’s or Papal Antichrist’s reign; and those who lived and reigned with Christ to be men endowed with the spirit of the early anti-Pagan martyrs, now revived as it were to testify for Christ against Papal falsehood: after which, and the end of the Beast’s as well as witnesses’ concurrent (!) millennial reign, the second and glorious resurrection of the rest of the dead is to be fulfilled, he thinks, in the Jews’ conversion and restoration. [45] This has made no way, however, in the credence of the Christian public, [46] and therefore needs no such prominent place in any sketch of millennial theories as the four others. - As regards these theories it will now be my object to show that to all but the first there exist objections such, and so decisive, as to set them aside from the arena; and so to leave to that first and earliest (that is, the literal view held by the primitive Christians) possession of the field.

And in respect of three out of the four spoken of, I mean Augustine’s, Grotius’, and Gipps’, it will not, I think, need any lengthened criticism to convince us of their total inadmissibility. - 1. As to Augustine’s theory, it may suffice to observe that the millennial vision is in the Apocalyptic narrative essentially and necessarily subordinated to, and consequent upon, those of Apoc. xiii. and xix., which describe the Beast’s reign and destruction, seeing that among the partakers of Christ’s millennial reign those “that had not worshipped the Beast” [47] are expressly specified: and, as to any view of the Beast not worshipped by the enthroned ones, such as Augustine fancies in aid of his theory, as if the world, or anything other than the 31/2 years’ Beast or Antichrist of Apoc. xiii., it is utterly out of the question. [48] Just agreeable with which is the inference from Daniel’s vision of the enthroned ones. For the Apocalyptic millennial enthronization of the saints with Christ is plainly identical with that which Daniel there describes: which latter is spoken of as taking place upon, and after, (not before,) the destruction of the Little Horn of the fourth Beast, i.e. the Antichrist. [49] - Yet once more it must be considered, by Protestants at least, as a direct historical contradiction to this theory, that for above 1200 out of the 1800 years during which it would represent Satan to have been bound and restricted from deceiving the nations, and Christ with his saints to have been reigning, I say that for above 1200 years of this period there should have prevailed over both

Eastern and Western Christendom the two grand Satanic delusions of Popery and Mahommedanism. Had Augustine himself lived to see this, I am well persuaded, considering his evangelical views of Christian doctrine, that he would have been the first to repudiate his own millennial theory, as that which had been falsified beyond dispute by plain matter of fact. For, though making the saints’ millennial reign to be spiritual, and in the hearts and lives of the faithful individually, yet his view supposed a multitude thus true and genuine to be living and energizing in the Church during the millennial period: insomuch that he considered Antichrist’s manifestation, Apocalyptically foreshown under the figures of God and Magog, and the consequent reduction of the true Church to a mere paucity, persecuted and oppressed, to mark the end of the millennium. Strange that any Protestant expositor, who verily believes Popery to be the Beast, should yet positively, and in despite of such belief, even now afresh propound the Augustinian theory as tenable! [50] - 2. As to Hammond’s and Grotius’ theory, it is an essential preliminary to it, admitting as they do the subordination of Apoc. xx to Apoc. xix., that the Apocalyptic Beast be interpreted as Rome Pagan: not Rome Papal: a point as to which, after all that has preceded in this Commentary, [51] it will I trust be the reader’s judgment that it would be a mere waste of words to offer any fresh evidence in refutation of it. Besides which theory, of its making the dark ages, and earlier times of the delusions of Popery and Mahommedanism, to be those of Christ’s reigning on earth and the Devil’s incarceration. I ought to add that by expounding what is said respecting Gog and Magog as meant of the Turks and their invasion of Christendom, it makes the “little time” [52] of Gog and Magog’s insurrection to mean a period, according to these interpreters’ own reckoning, of already above 500 years; that is, dating from the rise of the Turkish Othman dynasty: or, if we more rightly compute the interval, of near 800 years; since we ought to date it from the Turkman power’s earliest epoch of rise, in the dynasty of Seljuk. [53] - 3. As to Mr. Gipps’ theory, (as if St. John, retrogressing to the times of the opening of the Beast’s reign, meant, “I saw the souls of the old anti-Pagan martyrs revived in those who were now not worshipping the Beast,”) there are the obvious and decisive objections against it, 1st, that there is no warrant whatsoever for supposing such retrogression, 2ndly, and no warrant for construing the aorist prosecmnhsan as an imperfect, [54] 3rdly, and none for construing “and whosoever” in the sense of “in whosoever.” Moreover, according to this view, Satan would be shut up in the pit of the abyss, and the pit closed at the very time during which (as Mr. G. would with myself explain Apoc. ix. 1) the pit was opened in order to the deceiving of the nations by the Mahommedan delusion: [55] - the time of Christ’s Witnesses’ sackcloth-robing, and persecution even unto death, as pictured in one part of the Apocalypse, would quite self-contradictorily be made to coincide with that of the Witnesses’ reigning and ruling in another; - and, once more, as the resurrection of the Witnesses, spoken of Apoc. xi. 7, would be the second resurrection, (their rising to protest against the Papacy being the first,) their previous death, there also told of , would be, properly speaking, the second death.

Thus it is clearly Whitby’s futuro-figurative theory alone that can, with any show of plausibility, compete against the earlier and more literal explanation of the millennial prophecy given by Papias and Irenĉus, and sketched the first in my list. Nor, I think, if we do but carefully sift it, will its refutation be found less clear and complete (though it will necessarily occupy us much longer) than that of the others. I proceed then to show this, and coincidently; and in contrast, to show the evidence for the literal view, in two separate Sections; viz. as drawn successively, 1st from the Apocalyptic testimony itself, 2ndly from that of other Scriptures at large.

[1]   katabainonta.

[2]   thv abussou the same word that was used before in Apoc. ix. 1, xi. 7, xvii. 8. See my Vol. i. pp. 440, 441.

[3]   ta eqnh

[4]   So the Greek; qronouv, without the article.

[5]   twn pepelekismenwn.

[6]   Oitinev either those whosoever; those being the accusative, after I saw; - or, of those whosoever; of those being the genitive after yucav.

[7]   The reading of the received text is anezhsan, lived again. But the reading in A, B, adopted by Griesbach, Scholz, Tregelles, Wordsworth, is exhsan; the same word as in verse 4. In Apoc. ii. 8 this latter word is used of Christ’s resurrection; Ov egeneto nekrov kai ezhse.

[8]   basileusousi. So Scholz and Tregelles, agreeably with the received text. Wordsworth, after the MS. A, reads basileuousi in the present tense.

[9] eiv ton polemon as if to the war. So A, B, and the critical Editions of Scholz, Tregelles, and Wordsworth. Griesbach, in common with the received version, omits the ton.

[10] This verb is not in the original.

[11] eiv touv aiwnav twn aiwnwn the same strong phrase of time as in Apoc. xix. 4 of the smoke of the fire of Babylon.

[12] enwpion tou qronou. So A, B, and the critical Editions generally; instead of qeou in the received text.

[13] A, B, and after them Scholz, Tregelles, and Wordsworth, read more fully thus: outov o qanatov o deuterov esten, h limnh tou purov. Griesbach and Mill omit the last four words.

[14] aphlqon. So A, B, and the critical Editions of Griesbach, Scholz, Tregelles, Wordsworth. The received text reads parhlqe In either case the aorist form of the verb is adopted; but in the sense of the pluperfect, “had past away.” So aphlqen, verse 4.

[15] See my Vol. iii. p. 13, Note 2, on the same phrase, as used in Apoc. xii. 9.

[16] That is, plainly the same thousand years. The article prefixed four times to that phrase, (viz. in verses 3, 4, 5, and 7,) after its first mention as the term of Satan’s binding in verse 2, identifies the period. So Pareus justly observes, p. 506; in answer to Brightman’s theory of the saints’ millennium of reigning being one that would follow after Satan’s millennium of incarceration; a view advocated also by Bengel.

[17] It seems to me that the souls of them that were beheaded, &c., were seen, not as the only persons that took seat on the thrones, but only among them. This is a point important to note; as a contrary view of the intent of the phrase has by some been supposed and argued from.

Assuredly there is nothing in the text to negative my idea. For, 1st, it is not unusual, either in common or in prophetic narrative, to specify but part only of objects that may have been seen. So, for example, in John xx. 18, where Mary Magdalene only mentions having seen Jesus, though she had actually seen two angels also. Or, to exemplify from this present Chapter, in the very verse under consideration Christ is not specified as seen enthroned, though he must surely have been there; as verse 4 states it was with him that the risen saints reigned. And, indeed, his presence is afterwards expressly notified, on the not improbable hypothesis of the time of the great white throne of verse 11 being synchronic with that of the saints’ thrones in verse 4. [Of this more hereafter. - On the usual hypothesis of the first placing of the great white throne being post-millennial there occurs the example in point of the dead only being specified as those seen by John standing before it before judgment, though we know there must have been present also those alive at the time.] ---- Further, 2ndly, we know from abundance of other Scriptures, as Dan. vii. 22, Apoc. iii. 21, v. 10, &c., that the saints generally are to be admitted to a participation in Christ’s millenary throne and reign.

[18] IIepelekismenwn, a verb derived from pelekuv, an axe; which, together with the faces, was conspicuous in the insignia of the consuls and other officers of the Roman Government, and signified their having authority to punish with death. Hence the passive verb came to signify being put to death by sentence of him to whom the power of the axe belonged, whatever the mode of execution; and not the mere particular death of decapitation. So Vitringa.

So Polybius, i.7, &c.; cited by Eichhorn ad loc. mastegwsantev apantav kata to par autoiv eqov epelekisan.

Similarly Tertullian (Apolog. 5) uses the phrase “Cĉsariano gladio ferocisse.”

Under the emperors, as I have elsewhere observed, the sword came to be the ensign of the of this judicial power, in place of the axe; (see my Vol. i. pp. 154-158;) though not indeed to the supersession of the axe. For this was still used as an instrument of punishment at Rome; for these I presume that were condemned by the consular and other inferior courts, distinctively from the imperial. Thus we read in Dion Cassius that Caracalla found fault with the executioner of Papinian, oti axenh auton kai ou xifei diecrhsato.

[19] oitenev ou prosikunhsan. Mark here the use of the first aorist; and its possible comprehensive significancy of time past, as reaching continuously to time present, so as expressed by me in the text. So ebasanisan is used in Apoc. xi. 10.

[20] In finally revising this Chapter, I have had the advantage of comparing its statements and arguments with those in certain more or less elaborate Treatises against the premillennial view, published subsequently to my 1st Edition; especially that by the Rev. D. Brown, and that by Mr. (now Bishop) Waldegrave, in his Bampton Lectures; as well as with the earlier anti-premillennial Treatise of the late Mr. Gipps. More especially the first mentioned of these several Treatises has had my best attention, as being particularly able and elaborate. I shall refer from time to time to one or other of them, as I proceed.

[21] Of the earlier Fathers let me cite Justin Martyr and Tertullian, as about the fittest exponents of the general view entertained by this class of patristic expositors. 1.Justin Martyr. Egw de, kai ei tinev eisin orqognwmonev kata panta Cristianoi, kai sarkov anastasin genhsesqai epistameqa, kai cilia eth en ´Ierousalhm oikodomhqeisu kai kosmhqeisu kai platunqeisu [wv] oi profhtai Iezhcehl kai 'Hsaiav kai oi alloi dmologousi. So in the Dial. cum Tryph. (Ed. Colon.) p. 307. And again, ib. p. 309. Anhr tiv w onoma Iwannhv, eiv twn apostolwn tou Cristou, en Apokaluyei genomenh auty, cilia eth poihsein en 'Ierousalhm touv ty hmetery Cristy pisteusantav proefhteuse kai meta tauta thn kaqolikhn kai, sunelonti fanai, aiwnian omoqumadon ama pantwn anastasin genhsesqai kai krisin. Moreover he speaks of this as the paleggenesia of those that expect Christ in Jerusalem. - 2 Tertullian. “Nam et confitemur in terrâ nobis regnum repromissum: sed ante coelum; sed alio statu; utpote post resurrectionem in mille annos in civitate divine operis Hierusalem coelo delatâ, quam et Apostolus matrem nostrumsursum designat, &c. . . Post eujus regni coelestis mille annos, intrà quam utatem concluditur sanctorum resurrectio, pro meritis maturius vei tardius resugei. tume, et mundi destructione et judicii conflagratione commissâ, demutati in atemo in angelicam substantiam, . . transferemur in eoeleste regnum.” Adv. Marcian, iii. 25.

[22] The word to come, h oikoumenh h mellousa, of Heb. ii. 5.

[23] Luke xx. 36; “but are as the angels, . . being children of the resurrection.” The angelic nature of the risen saints in the Millennium is clearly stated by some of these Fathers. So Tertullian Adv. Marcion v. 38, and De Resur. c. 36; “Similes enim crunt angelis, qua non nupturi:” also Justin Martyr, ubi suprà: who, like Tertullian, expressly quotes Christ’s saying, Luke xx. 36, declaring that the just, when raised, should neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be esaggeloi, like angels: also, again, Methodius: - Esomenhv gar kai meta touton ton aiwna ghv anagkh pasa esesqai kai touv oikhsontav ouketi teqnhxomenouv kai gamhsontav kai genhsomenouv, all wv aggelouv ametastrofwv en afqarsia taarista praxontav. So, too, similarly, Irenĉus, ii. l 62; Cyprian ad Fortunat. 12; and Lactantius, vii. 6. From the last-mentioned Father let me cite. “Ut, similes angelis effecti, summo Patriac Domino in perpetuum serviamus, et simus ĉternum Deo regnum:” and again ib. 24; where he thus distinguishes between the raised saints, and men still living in the body; “Tum qui erunt in corporibus vivi non morientur, sed per eosdem mille annos infinitam multitudinem generabunt: . . qui autem ab inferia susctabuntur ii prĉerunt viventibus, velut judiees.”

The reader should carefully observe this, as quite different representations have sometimes been given of the early Fathers’ views of the millennarian state: Dr. Whitby actually saying that “Methodius is the only one who denies that they shall be thus employed after the resurrection.” He strangely mistakes what was said of men still alive on the earth, as if said of the saints raised; though so expressly distinguished, as e.g. by Lactantius.

[24] So most of the Fathers I speak of : e.g. Tertullian and Justin Martyr, as above cited. Lactantius however seems to make the New Jerusalem state post-millennial, vii. 24; though the passage is by no means clear and decisive.

[25] So, for example, Justin Martyr expressly. Speaking of the filthy garments on the High Priest Jushua in Zechariah’s vision, as not unfitly depicting the blasphemies heaped on Christians by the Jews, he adds: a rupara endumata, periteqenta uf umwn pati toiv apo tou onomatov Ihsou genomenoiv Cristianoiv, deixei airomena af hmwn o qeov, otan pantav anasthsu, kai touv men en aewnea kai aluty basileia afqartouv kai aqanatouv kai alupouv katasthsu, touv de eiv kolasin aiwnion purov parapemyn. Ib. 345. - “Irenĉus too, v. 32 speaks of the mystery “justorum resurrectionis et regni” as “principium incorruptelĉ:” and again, v. 26, says: “Christus est lapis . . qui destruet temporalia regna, et aeternum inducet quĉ est justorum resurrectio.” And so again Lactantius, quoted p. 135. Also Victorius.

[26] Already in the third century Origen, and others of his school, had controverted the literal millennary view; but they do not seem to have suggested any counterview in its place, that gained hold in any degree of the mind of Christendom. Rather the course with them mostly was to throw doubt on the apostolic origin of the Apocalypse, which seemed to favor the literal view. So in the case of Dionysius of Alexandria, of whom I have spoken in my Preliminary Essay, Vol. i. pp. 3-7; also of Eusebius, whose opinion I have noticed ibid. p. 28. In his view of the jubilean times predicted by the Old Testament prophets, which we generally associate and identify with those of the Apocalyptic Millennium, the latter was naturally influenced to an immense extent by the Christianization of the Roman world under Constantine. See my Vol. i. pp. 255, 256.

As regards Origen himself, he opposed the literal view as Judaic: and spoke mysteriously of some millennium of converse with angels; oi gar ex anqrwpwn eiv aggelouv metastantev cilia eth maqhteuantai upo twn aggelwn De Princip. ii. 11. 6; (cited by Gieseler i. § 61;) and ib. 12. But I am not aware of any millennary system worked out by that Father.

Epiphanius says; “There is indeed a millennium mentioned by St. John: but the majority of pious men look on these words as true indeed, but to be taken in a spiritual sense.” Thn Biblon anagenwskontev oi pleistoi kai eulabeiv, peri twn pneumatikwn eidotev, kai en auth pneumatikwv econta lambanontev, alhqh men onta, en baquthti de safhnezomena pepisteukasin. Her. lxxvii. 26. ap. Whitby.

[27] Augustine tells us that he was himself induced by reasons of this kind to abandon the older chiliastic theory, and embrace this other. “Quĉ opinio [viz. that of the literal and corporeal primary resurrection of the saints at Christ’s coming, to the enjoyment of a millennial sabbath] esset uteumque tolerabilis, si aliquĉ delieiĉ spirituales in illo sabbate adfuturĉ sanctis per Domini prĉsentiam erederentur. Nam etiam nos hoc opinati fuimus aliquando. Sed eùm eos qui tunc resurrexerint dicant immoderatissimis carnalibus epulis vacturos, &c., . . nullo mode ista possunt nisi à carnalibus credi.” C.D. xx. 7. 1. A strange conclusion, surely! - that because some perverted the doctrine to carnal views, (as the heretic Cerinthus very early, and others after him,) therefore it should be rejected: though Augustine knew that the earlier Fathers had quite otherwise held it; and indeed himself too, at one time, as we find it expressed in his 259th Sermon: “Reguabit enim Dominus in terrà cùm sanctis, sicut dicunt Scripturĉ; et habebit hie Ecclesiam separatam aique purgatam ab omni contagione nequitiĉ,” &c.

[28] C.D. xx. 6. 1.

[29] C.D. xx. 7. 2.

[30] C.D. xx. 9. 2. -Augustine’s regnum militiĉ may remind my readers of those beautiful lines of our spiritual poet Cowper;

             His warfare is within: there unfatigued

             His fervent spirit labours: there he fights,

             And there obtains fresh triumphs, o’er himself,

             And never-withering wreaths, compared with which

             The laurels that a Cĉsar reaps are weeds.

[31] C.D. xx. 9. 3; - “Bestia. . populus infidelium: image vere ejus simulatie ejus mihi videtur, in eis videlicet qui velut fidem profitentur, et infideliter virunt.”

[32] Those “ex quibus prĉdestinata constat ecclesia.” C.D. xx. 7. 4; 8. 1. Elsewhere, ib. 9. 1, Augustine markedly excludes from any part in this millennial reign with Christ the mere professors in the Church’s “Regnant cum Christo etiam nune sancit ejus: .. nec tamen cùm illo regnant zizania; quamvis in ecclesià cum tritieo crescant.” Let this Augustinian distinction never be forgotten..

. The abyss into which Satan was cast, Augustine viewed as the hearts of the “multitudo innumerablilis impierum:” C.D.xx. 7. 3.

[33] C.D. xx. 7. 2. - I have before mentioned that Augustine followed the Septuagint chronology; according to which Christ’s first coming had taken place at, or about, the middle of the world’s sixth chiliad. See my Vol. i. p. 307.

[34] Ultimo tempore ante judicium Judĉos in Christum verum, id est in Christum nostruni, esse credituros, celeberrimum est in sermonibus cordibusque fidelium.” C.D. xx. 29.

[35] “It should be added that Augustine included the idea of the Church in heaven, (the souls of the martyrs specified being a part for the whole,) as well as the true Church on earth, participating in the reign with Christ. “Regnat cum Christe nune primum ecclesia in vivie et mortuis.” C.D. xx. 9. 2

This view Prevailed from Augustine’s time, among certain writers more or less of the Augustinian school, throughout the middle ages, down to the Reformation. For example in the sixth century Primasine advocated it: in the 9th Ambrose Ansbert. So too in yet later times Archbishop Usher, as I infer from Vitringa, p. 1124.

[36] See my Vol. i. pp. 278, 282, &c.

[37] So e.g. the bishop Andreas. - So too in later times Bossuet; who particularly dwells on the martyrs’ part in the reign, as shown by the miracles wrought by their relics, and their appointment moreover in the Canon as intercessors.

[38] I say more or less; because some were more simply ecclesiastical in their statements of the theory, some with more decided admixture of the spiritual.

[39] At p. 470 of Vol. i. I have noted the general consternation of Western Christendom on the approach of the year A.D. 1000; a consternation arising out of this view of the prophecy.

[40] After the Reformation various Protestant Doctors advocated it, with certain modifications. So e.g. Luther himself, Bullinger, Bale, Parĉus, &c.: (Parĉus very elaborately:) the exacerbation of Papal tyranny under Gregory VII. A.D. 1073, as well as first rise of the Seljukian Turks, being supposed by them to mark the end of the Millennium. On the other hand many Romanists thought to see evidence of Satan’s loosing, in the then rise of Waldensian and other heretics.

In the present day the theory, in its mixed form, has been revived by Dr. Wordsworth. Dr. W. dwells largely and earnestly on the earthly and visible Church’s privileges. “It is not a corporeal but a spiritual resurrection.” “Our first resurrection is our death unto sin and new birth unto righteousness; . . our incorporation [sc. by baptism] into the body of Christ,” “The erroneous application of the passage to a mere bodily resurrection. . is ascribable to low and inadequate notions of our baptismal privileges and obligations.” pp. 54-57. Dr. W. makes his millennium extend to the end of the present dispensation; and so to include the long period of the reign of the Papacy, which nevertheless he identifies with that of the Apocalyptic Beast! His explanation of this strange apparent inconsistency will be given in Note 621, p.75 infrà.

[41] .So in his Chronograph. Lib. iv. p. 688, as referred to by Malvenda, Vol. ii. p. 217. Genebrard was Professor of Hebrew at Paris, in the latter half of the 16th century, and a zealous anti-Hugonot. His Chronographia was published in 1567. I know not whether he propounded the Grotian view of the Beast.

[42] A.D. 1650

[43] .Whitby speaks of this in the Preface to his Treatise as a discovery of his own: “Conceiving that I have . . found out the true sense of those words Apoc. xx. 4, which usually are alleged as the foundation of the supposed Millennium, &c.”

Vitringa however, who alludes to Whitby’s as a work just published (p. 1141), makes brief citations from two earlier writers, Conrad of Mantua and Carolus Gallus, as expressive of the same general view. Conrad; “Credimus hic describi resurrectionem quandam cujus aliquoties fit mentio in Scripuris; et est cûm hi qui mortui putabautur vivi adhue reperiuntur; cum vero sie reperti fuerint non minore admiratione excipiuntur ac si ab inferis resurrexissent:” said in reference to those qui, evangelii causâ, Papĉ indignationem incurrerant.” Carolus Gallus: “Vaticinatur de singulari adeoque mirandâ ecclesiĉ resurrectione et renovatione: quod nimirum illa, novissimâ hâe ĉtate, ex Judĉis et Judĉis et Gentibus, vivia ac mortuis, conspirus erit; et mirum in modum, gloriosius quàm unquam antes, ex mortuis . . reviviscet, innovabitur, restaurabitur, et reflorescet.” Vitringa, p. 1159. Conrad’s Treatise on the Apocalypse  is dated Basle 1574. Car. Gallus, I believe, wrote a little later.A.D. 1650.

[44] So Whitby. “As John the Baptist was Elias because he came in the spirit and power of Elias, so shall this be the Church of martyrs, because the spirit and purity of the times of the primitive martyrs shall return.” - So too Archbishop Whateley, in his Chapter on the Millennium in his Essays on a Future State. “It may signify not the literal raising of dead men, but the raising up of an increased Christian zeal and holiness: - the revival in the Christian Church, or in some considerable portion of it, of the spirit and energy of the noble martyrs of old, even as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elias; so that Christian principles shall be displayed in action throughout the world, in an infinitely greater degree than ever before.” He adds; “And this for a considerable time before the end of the world; though not perhaps for the literal and precise period of 1000 years.”

[45] The mode in which Mr. G. educes this from the sacred text is this. He premises (pp. 133, 134) that the word prosekunhsan, being in the aorist, must have the sense of the imperfect, “Whosoever were not (at that time) worshipping the Beast;” and hence argues the synchronism of this millennium of the saints’ reign with the Beast’s reign. Which premised, his explanation of the first resurrection as the rising up of the spirits of the martyrs slain under Pagan Rome’s persecutions, (Apoc. vi. 9,) in the persons and preaching of Claude of Turin, the Waldenses, the Wicliffites, Hussites, &c., and other witnesses for Christ throughout the period of Papal supremacy (p. 148), follows not unnaturally. The second resurrection he considers to be implied in the Apocalypse, as one of the same character. So (ibid.) it naturally follows with him to explain it of the Jews’ conversion, according to the prophecies in Ezek. xxxvii. and Rom. xi. 15; as well as of that of the multitude of the Gentiles with them, at the close of the millennium of the Beast’s reign. After which event he supposes that Gog and Magog will attack the converted Jews; so the prophecies of Ezek. xxxix. and Apoc. xx. on this point be alike fulfilled; and then the literal resurrection, and judgment of the great white throne, follow.

[46] The American Prof. Bush, indeed, quite independently, as it seems, has also constructed a very similar theory. He supposes the binding of the Dragon in this xxth Apocalyptic Chapter to have answered to Theodosius’ utter overthrow of Paganism: this binding vision being in fact, not a sequel to that in Apoc. xix., but a resumption of the broken-off history of the fallen Dragon in Apoc. xii. (p. 94-97.) The thrones in Apoc. xx. he makes to mean the new thrones of the ten-Romano-Gothic kingdoms; (p. 127;) and the first resurrection, and living of martyrs with Christ, to signify the vigorous life of these that were witnesses for Christ, in opponency to the Dragon’s successor, or Popes of Rome (139): herein agreeing with Mr. Gipps. The invasion afterwards of Gog and Magog he supposes (p. 155) to be that of the Turks under which Constantinople fell, A.D 1453, or 1000 after Theodosius.

And Bishop Waldegrave too, in his later Bampton Lectures, has also propounded a Millennial witness-theory essentially similar to that of Mr. Gipps.

[47] Oitinev ou prosekunhsan to qhrion. The circumstance of the verb being in the aorist, not the pluperfect, does not at all invalidate this argument; the aorist being often so used in the Apocalypse. See p. 76 Note 625.

[48] I might argue from Christ’s bridal also, mentioned Apoc. xix. 7; “Let us rejoice and be glad, for the marriage of the Lamb hath come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” And indeed Vitringa, from whom I have copied the arguments in this case, considering the New Jerusalem to be the bride spoken of, and the time of its manifestation the Millennium, does argue from it. But I prefer to pass it over for the present; because the chronological position of the New Jerusalem vision is a point much disputed, and perhaps doubtful. It will however be remarked on, and my views given of it, in the next chapter.

[49] The following tubular comparative view of the two prophecies is copied from Mede by Vitringa.

[50] I allude especially to Dr. Wordsworth. Is it asked, How can he possibly reconcile such essentially contradictory views? It is as follows. Christ bound the Devil, he says, ina mh planhsn,in order that he should not deceive the nations: so marking object, not effect. And “the corruptions of Popish times and countries . . show that men have despised what Christ has done for them, and have loosed the enemy who was bound by Christ!” pp. 50, 51. But in Apoc. xx. 3, 7, is not the times of Satan’s actual incarceration defined as 1000 years; and the epoch of his actual loosing defined as not till the end of the 1000 years?

[51] See my Part iv. Chapters iv -ix.

[52] .meta tauta dei auton luqhnai mikron cronon.

[53] So Vitringa. - See the continuity of the Seljukian and Othman Turks fully discussed and established in my Vol. i. p. 501, &c.

[54] The pluperfeet sense, here given by our English translators, is quite common to the aorist. So in Apoc. xi. 10, ebasanisan, had tormented; in Apoc. xxi. 1, aphlqon, had past away;&c.

With regard to Professor Bush, his fundamental supposition that in Apoc. xx. 1, the history of the Dragon, or Spirit of Roman Paganism, is resumed from Apoc. xii. - his being cast down from heaven in the great revolution begun under Constantine, and completed under Theodosius, answering to the figure of his being shut up in the abyss of Apoc. xx. - is, I conceive, in the Apocalypse itself distinctly negatived. For whereas, according to Professor Bush, the Dragon ought to have been from after Theodosius’ time shut up, so as not to deceive the nations, he is in Apoc. xii. xiii. represented distinctly as after that time not only sending out floods from his mouth to overwhelm the woman, and driving her into the wilderness, but afterwards, with a view to prosecute his enmity against the remnant of the woman’s seed who kept the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, himself evoking the seven-headed beast, Antichrist, which was but his creature, from the abyss: giving him up his throne; and, by seducing the nations to believe on him, furnishing him all through his reign with power and great authority.

[55] The same applies substantially to Waldegrave’s modification of Gipps’ theory